Derek Woodacre has been coming up with creative ways to deter road users from parking near to his house – he has since become an attraction with visitors across Greater Manchester
Image: MEN MEDIA)
A man who built a huge barricade to stop parents on the school run from pulling up near his house now sees people flocking to his road to witness his novelty blockade – complete with gnomes. Derek Woodacre, 65, of Wigan, Greater Manchester, has been scheming new ways to deter people from parking on his street after some of his homemade efforts were removed earlier this summer.
Since starting his battle with parents parking on his street – Commonside Road in Mosley Common – to drop off their kids at the nearby St John’s Primary School a few years back, Derek now has people across the region visit him to learn about his next move, with people in ‘tears of laughter’ in response.
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“People drive past Manchester and are coming to see me and burst out laughing,” the 65-year-old told the Manchester Evening News. “They are in tears hearing about what I have planned for the future. It has gone mad in the area.”
Derek’s latest efforts to prohibit parkers were removed in July – and came after a row with his neighbours.
These neighbours told the MEN that his antics had led to ‘sleepless nights’ and the barricade had become so large it got to the point where emergency vehicles and bin men couldn’t get through to the end of the street.
They called him ‘antagonising’ and ‘stressful’, but Derek believes these neighbours against him are only few in number, and claims he ‘just does not care anymore’ about their opinions.
Now, his massive blockade involves homemade gnomes and ones made in support of the Ukraine appeal.
If the road becomes certified as an unadopted road, with the council not responsible for it, Derek plans on making even more figurines in what he calls ‘Lake Gnomo’, combining his love of gnomes and Lake Como – an extension of what he calls ‘Gnome Man’s Land’ in his front garden.
The homeowner has also created a ‘suggestion box’ where he plans on laminating the responses he gets.
The technical writer is an avid collector and managed to come across planters, which he put on the road alongside the speed restrictions to give them weight.
He says that he didn’t receive any money from the other residents for his plans, forcing him to go solo in his ambitions.
Explaining why he constructed the barricade in the first place, he told the M.E.N back in July: “I moved here five years ago and this is an unadopted road so the council is not responsible for it. When I moved in I thought what the hell is this.
“The first week I saw a lot of people parking from the school. I felt a lot of abuse from parents when I told them they couldn’t park there.
“We have to pay to repair the road and it costs thousands. I met every resident on the road and they told me about all the problems.
“There have been assaults and property damage and we wanted to get this sorted. I said this is not acceptable and said there is no point in repairing the road if we can’t stop people parking here.
“People who were walking past them were admiring them. They were saying ‘wow’.
“They [Wigan Council] tried to force me to remove the stuff from the highway two months ago. That is when I got the notice.
“Then it was July 19 when they came to remove it.”
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